If you remember correctly, we were wondering just the other day, what the Leonids meteor shower would be like this year, and whether or not we would get to see them. The big concerns included the moon, the weather, and school for the kiddo. As it turns out the weather was pretty decent for the occasion. The kiddo didn't want to miss school for reasons we won't discuss here. As for the moon, well let's just say that even if the Lion did roar, the moon light was far to bright to see much.
The night of the 18th we stayed up until 2am periodically going out on our back deck to see what was going on. Around 11pm there was nothing worth mentioning except that the moon was really bright. Again at midnight, nothing. Around 1:30am we were getting tired and the bed was calling our name. In a last ditch effort, Tim went out and stood for a good 15 minutes looking up at the sky. In that 15 minutes one Leonid flashed and skirted through the air in a matter of seconds. Just before 2am, Robin went out for the last time and stood for a good 15 minutes waiting to see one and was rewarded as well.
In looking at Spaceweather.com, it turns out that this year wasn't much of a show compared to past years when we actually got to go out and watch for hours. The average reported rate maxed out at about 25 meteors an hour at the peak in the wee early hours of the 18th.
Maybe next year will be a good year. All the stars will align properly and we can watch the Lion roar again. Of course a year is a long time to wait. For those that are looking for a good meteor shower, the Geminids are up next. Around December 13th, the Geminids should peak, and from early guesstimates, it should be a good show. You can check out EarthSky.com's Meteor Shower Guide for more information on the Geminids.
Tim and Robin